I’m for dogs … (as the saying goes)

I have always been dog people. I have always had a dog or dogs.

I used to show dogs, judge dogs and play around dog show rings –with a special interest in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. But then kids came along and spending time at a dog show became more challening than fun … I still nurse illusions that in a year or two I will be able to make my way back to dog shows and it will be a hobby that I keep up, with the family or without the family. 

I really do like dogs.

We had a dog Annabelle (yes I do realize my daughter is called Isabelle, it did lend itself to lots of confusion and often having to re-scream the name as we would get them mixed up) and she was born on the 1 January 2001. 

Annabelle was always a bit on the wild side and as much as she would drive me to distraction – because she really was like Robby Williams on TIK – just way too much energy, I was still fond of her.  She was however really difficult to train, and was really the dog that taught me humility.

I was always quick to judge someone if they did not have a well-trained well-mannered dog, because clearly they had no control over their dog (tsk tsk).

Then the universe conspired and gave me Annabelle – and I learnt humility, because she was virtually untrainable …. virtually.

Last year October, we were coming to the tail end of renovations on our home.  In the second last week one of the building guys left the gate open, and our dog bolted.  Annabelle had a bit of Forrest Gump in her and could run and run and …. you get the picture.

Annabelle did a runner.  But I was not too worried as she was micro-chipped and I figured sooner or later someone would take her to a vet/SPCA/animal welfare, bar code scan her and I would get a call and it would be that easy.

I drove around and looked for her.

I ran some ads, posted things on social media sites, sent emails around, phoned vets/organisations and got hold of a few people who know people who are involved with lost dogs – and I waited, as I figured sooner or later she would appear.

I got a call from a vet, to say they had a dog that matched my description. 

I was very excited, threw Connor in the car and headed to the vet.

Annabelle is a 10-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, spayed bitch with red and white markings, with a distinctive white blaze on her chest, across her snout and she has white feet.

I arrive and the vet shows me to a fawn Great Dane cross Labrador – the only thing they had in common is that they were of the species Canine and both were bitches (not the vet, who might have been, but I really did not hang around with her to find out).

I generally have a lot of respect for vets, I do.  But this one sort of made me go “Seriously, seriously?  I spoke to you on the phone and explained my dog in detail – great detail.  Did you think this was mine and then washed her and she stretched and grew a uterus since my call? I mean seriously!”

I might not be welcome at that vet again.

Clearly it was not Annabelle.  I took my lead and collar and went back to the car with Connor and felt very dejected.  Then I felt very worried, as this was the only response I had regarding all my advertising.

I started to get a sneaky suspicion that maybe Annabelle might not be coming home.

That was 6 months ago.

Connor still tells me every 2 – 3 weeks that he really misses Annabelle and he wonders where she is.  I say that I hope where ever she is she is warm, safe and has someone who cares for her, and has decided that they love her so much they are going to keep her …..well that is what I wish and like to tell myself repeatedly.

I still get very sad when I think of her, and I feel guilty that I had not done more to find her and more to protect her from getting out.

So we are dog-less in our house.

I have never been dog-less in my entire life.

I know I am not ready for a new dog. I am just not ready. I just do not feel ready.

My friend Ilze sent me an email from a breeder who has a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier bitch and I started looking at the pictures and then I felt a small twinge – that maybe I am ready for a dog. 

I am not sure yet if I am ready for this particular dog, and need to give that all some thought.

I am also not a fan of “getting a dog for a child” (hear me scrunch up my nose in disgust and really go tsk tsk) – a dog has to be for you, as kids will lose interest generaly after about 3 – 5 weeks if you are lucky.

However – no but, just a however – I like children to grow up with dogs and be respectful of them, and also not be afraid of them.  I think a dog in our house with our kids will lose it’s mind because there will always be someone to snuggle with and play with.  I also like children around dogs, and like children who are not afraid of dogs.

But I am not sure yet if I am ready for a dog.

<I am not an impulsuve decision maker when it comes to pets, it took me about 3 – 5 years to get my cat, so spontaneous decisions in this area are hardly my forte….>

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